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BAGHDAD: One person was killed and eight wounded in an overnight explosion at an Iraqi military base housing a coalition of pro-Iranian armed groups, officials said Saturday.

The full details remain unclear hours after the blast hit the Kalsu military base in Babylon province south of Baghdad, where regular army, police, and members of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, or Hashed al-Shaabi, are stationed.

It comes days after Iran launched an unprecedented assault on Israel which reportedly responded with a drone strike on the Islamic republic, amid tensions fuelled by the Gaza war.

Biden to meet Iraqi PM as Middle East tensions soar

The Iraqi security forces’ media unit said “an explosion and a fire” hit the Kalsu base in the early hours of Saturday, leaving one person dead and eight wounded.

Air defence command reported “no drones or combat aircraft in the airspace of Babylon province before or during the explosion”, it added in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Shortly after the explosion, the US military said its forces were not behind a reported strike in Iraq.

“The United States has not conducted air strikes in Iraq today,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) posted on social media platform X, adding that reports that American forces had carried out a strike were “not true”.

When reached by AFP, the Israeli army said it “does not comment on information published in foreign media”.

In a statement, Hashed al-Shaabi said an “explosion” had inflicted “material losses” and casualties, without giving a number.

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